The award winning, Betty Grumble, surreal showgirl, obscene beauty Queen, and Sex Clown, brings to the Brisbane Festival.
“Betty Grumble Love and Anger”.
Love and Anger the show, is an excessive assault on the senses with Betty stripping all the way back to, the two, most powerful human emotions. Love and Anger.
The book, The Scum Manifesto, is the thread that weaves its way through the show. The book written by Valerie Solanas, and published in 1967. The book centres on valid social concerns with a beaming spotlight on patriarchy. Valerie wrote: Men have ruined the world, and it is up to women to fix it. Betty in her own wild approach to Valerie’s views, highlights that; women are still grappling with the same stories, conversations, and fears 51 years later. Betty Grumble is a conversation starter. Conversations you never thought you would have. These dialogues are shocked out of you through various forms of expression.
On entrance to the Block at QUT’s Theatre Republic the room is shrouded in a cloud of incense. Betty is quietly standing at the front of the stage a book covering her face, walled in by suitcases, and a white backdrop with scribbles of black writing. Betty welcomes the crowd and lulls us into a sense of community – that we belong in this space. She takes the time to assure us that all reactions are welcome, and if our senses are overwhelmed there is no judgement in having to exit. Betty is enthusiastic, and excited to share her show and so it begins. Betty Grumble Love and Anger, draws philosophies from The Scum Manifesto, Betty recites passages of the book through out the show, venting through an in your face, shocking and confronting communication of women’s liberation, the worship of the divine feminine and a woman’s body as a political playground. In an extravagant way Betty shows how movement, creativity, and art is used to heal and expand the spirit of woman. A stripping naked of all barriers and exposing vulnerability in a safe womb like space. A singing vagina. A touch of magic. Cabaret dancing. The show involves science experiments, painting, and flower arranging in the extreme. Conversations on relationships. Relationships with yourself, Mother Nature and the environment, patriarchal relationships, mother/ daughter connections, bonds with your siblings and the weight that you each carry.
By the end of the show, the full frontal nudity was not so shocking to my friend and I that sat through the 60 minute show. Our drive home was an explosion of hilarity, tears from laughing and shock and at one stage chest pain. The conversations and questions that were screamed hysterically through the car were a testament to Betty and the boundaries and comfort zones she pushed within us.